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Group Lead, Computational Biology (Genetic Parts Curation) 95 views

Boston, MA

Our mission is to make biology easier to engineer. Ginkgo is constructing, editing, and redesigning the living world in order to answer the globe’s growing challenges in health, energy, food, materials, and more. Our engineers make use of Ginkgo’s automated foundry for designing and building new organisms. Today, our foundry is actively developing multiple organisms to make products across diverse industries. 
The Genetic Parts Curation (GPC) team supports Ginkgo’s mission by making genetic design more predictable and robust, via curation of highly characterized toolkits of genetic elements (“parts”) to deploy in Ginkgo’s portfolio of engineered bacteria, yeasts, filamentous fungi, and mammalian cells. As Group Lead of the newly minted GPC, you will be responsible for defining Ginkgo’s strategic vision for genetic part curation, and leading an interdisciplinary group of scientists and engineers to realize that vision. Your group’s activities will include building strategic alignment on priorities for part curation across Ginkgo’s technical teams; collaborating with organism experts throughout Ginkgo to establish best practices for experimental part characterization; defining analytics and performing computational analyses to monitor and improve robustness of curated parts and genetic designs that include them; and collaborating with our Software, Product, and Data teams to define digital infrastructure required to curate genetic parts and facilitate their re-use. 
A successful candidate would bring expertise in molecular genetics, computational biology, and synthetic biology; knowledge of data modeling and management; and a collaborative, forward-thinking mindset. You will think big while maintaining attention to detail, and draw on your fluency in molecular genetics and your leadership skills to help teams throughout Ginkgo deliver results efficiently by using the data your team collects. You will leverage your organizational and communication skills every day as you work closely with teams across Ginkgo.


  • In collaboration with scientists, engineers, and business teams throughout the organization, develop a vision for the systematic curation of genetic toolkits at Ginkgo, that will serve as a collaborative knowledge base for hundreds of biologists and projects per year
  • Promote the re-use of curated genetic parts across Ginkgo’s technical teams by developing towards teams’ needs and establishing collaborative relationships
  • Define & operationalize metadata standards for genetic parts and their validation data, as well as key performance indicators that track usage, quality, and impact throughout Ginkgo’s ecosystem
  • Collaborate with our Software, Product, and Data teams to define infrastructure required to digitally curate genetic toolkits across a diverse set of organisms, and ensure their accessibility and uptake
  • Conduct user research to assess utility and impact of curated genetic parts, such as: gaps or unmet needs related to part curation; outcomes of using the curated genetic parts; and any barriers to uptake
  • Monitor & resolve quality issues associated with curated genetic parts, such as incorrectly labeled parts or (contextually) non-functional parts 
  • Build, mentor, and lead a team of scientists, engineers, and curators that will establish, expand, and organize GPC’s data assets
  • Requirements

  • PhD plus two or more years professional experience, or a master’s degree with four or more years professional experience, or a bachelor’s degree plus five years of professional experience, in synthetic biology, data management, software engineering, or a related field. Interdisciplinary work combining multiple of the above is strongly preferred
  • First-hand experience in molecular genetics or synthetic biology
  • First-hand experience harmonizing and organizing data to enable standardized query and analysis
  • Strong communication skills, including the ability to speak technical jargons of biology, data science, and software engineering, and present to internal customers from a variety of disciplines
  • Proven track record of working across interdisciplinary teams to deliver comprehensive, successful products
  • Proficiency in at least one programming language (Python preferred) as you will work closely with software engineers and data scientists, and as your team will conduct computational analyses and develop prototype software 
  • Knowledge of best practices for collaborative software development (version control systems, test-driven development, and good documentation habits)
  • Ability to independently set priorities and advance multiple concurrent, collaborative projects
  • Ability to thrive and stay calm in a fast-paced, ever-changing environment
  • Preferred Capabilities and Experience

  • Project or product management experience
  • People management experience
  • Demonstrated success in leadership in a scientific environment
  • First-hand technical experience in one or more of the following disciplines:  microbiology, quantitative genetics, comparative genomics, statistics, or data science
  • To learn more about Ginkgo, check out some recent press:
    We also feel that it’s important to point out the obvious here – there’s a serious lack of diversity in our industry, and that needs to change. Our goal is to help drive that change. Ginkgo is deeply committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion in all of its practices, especially when it comes to growing our team. Our culture promotes inclusion and embraces how rewarding it is to work with people from all walks of life.  
    We’re developing a powerful biological engineering platform, so we must remain mindful of the many ways our technology can – and will – impact people around the world. We care about how our platform is used, and having a diverse team to build it gives us the best chance that it’s something we’ll be proud of as it continues to grow. Therefore, it’s critical that we incorporate the diverse voices and visions of all those who play a role in the future of biology.
    It is the policy of Ginkgo Bioworks to provide equal employment opportunities to all employees and employment applicants.

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    • Company Address 27 Drydock Avenue, 8th Floor Boston, MA 02210
    • City Boston
    • Location Massachusetts
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